Scientific studies have suggested that religious belief (regardless of whether it is true or not) has many social and personal benefits, but may encourage more sexist attitudes and a lesser degree of openness to others. Some recent studies have looked at the association of religion with prejudice.
Try this brief quiz: Which country is the richest in the world in terms of median wealth? Which countries come close? Which countries have the greatest and least disparity between the rich and the rest? In the richest country, what percentage of people live in poverty? Have a guess, then check out the answers.
Bushfires have recently raged through parts of NSW, with some of the more severe burning on the fringes of Sydney, destroying more than 200 homes and taking 2 lives. Without good planning and preparedness, and some desperately hard work by firefighters, it could have been much worse. I live in the middle of suburbia, far […]
I came across some interesting comments today – about the history and future of western civilisation. I thought they were worth sharing.
It’s a feel-good story that’s been doing the rounds, but it bears repeating. A potentially nasty situation defused by a simple act of friendliness.
Last post I looked at some of the ways science and religion interact without conflict in western culture. Today – what psychologists have found about how people in the US think about science and religion. You may be surprised at some of their findings (I was).
Money’s not supposed to be important, but we all know it is. The poor can’t do without it, the rich act as if they can’t either, and everyone’s after their share of the pie. And if you’re reading this, most likely you (like me) are among the word’s richest, even though you probably don’t feel […]
Atheists and christians alike often feel that not only is their belief true, but it is “nicer”. One argument, which has been made to me several times by atheists recently, is over who is more generous in giving to charity. It has little to do with the truth of belief, but are there any facts […]
I have had an interest in the question of free will ever since a long and friendly email discussion with an atheist and determinist almost a decade ago. He was a researcher in artificial intelligence, and strongly believed that human beings had no free will, and that the only way we could have it was […]
Regular readers will know that one of my ’causes’ is ethical chocolate – chocolate that is grown by free farmers who are paid a fair wage, and not by trafficked children working more or less as slaves. (For background, see Ethical chocolate update.) So it was with great delight that I received a weighty package […]